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No Ballet Shoes in Syria is the Independent Booksellers’ Children’s Book of the Month for December

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The Book Association has announced their Independent Booksellers’ Children’s Book of the Month for December – and we’re absolutely delighted that No Ballet Shoes in Syria, by Catherine Bruton, has been selected.

Having recently won the Books Are My Bag Readers Award in the Children’s Fiction category, No Ballet Shoes in Syria has been chosen by independent booksellers as this month’s book. The Book of the Month aims to showcase independent bookshops’ unique expertise at promoting and selling children’s books – and to highlight outstanding children’s books.

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria. When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship. But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope, and humanity.

Here’s what people have been saying about the book:

‘Wise and kind and unputdownable.’ – Hilary McKay, author of The Skylarks’ War

‘A moving story about one of the big issues of our time, told with wonderful clarity, and incredibly touching.’ – Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo

‘A gem of a book.’ – Natasha Harding, The Sun, Children’s Book of the Week

You can read the first two chapters below:

And here’s a video of Catherine talking about her book:

You can find a copy of No Ballet Shoes in Syria in your nearest independent bookshop – and you can also buy a copy through The Hive, an independent bookshop supporter, here.

Thank you, Book Association, for championing No Ballet Shoes in Syria. And congratulations to Catherine on her continued success with this book!

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